After 12 days of marriage,
Full of hitting, swearing, and being rude,
I called his brother.
He told me the same old garbage:
“He’s young. He’ll change. Be patient.”
At first, I stuck to my principles.
To swear or hit someone was a big deal.
I was raised to believe that men were respectable,
But he wasn't going to change.
He sometimes hit or loudly swore at me in public,
And once he wounded me in the face for no reason.
He’s always the one who starts the fights.
He’s always the one who beats me up.
And he’s always the one who ends the fight on his terms.
“I only married you because you were weak and in need of a man,” he said,
I had been previously married and divorced.
Beatings and insults.
He’d pull me out of prayer whenever I started to pray.
He’d pull the Quran out of my hands whenever I started to read.
We’d talk and agree on things only for him to forget all about it later.
Then I realized he did drugs.
I could also smell cigarettes on his breath.
I hate cigarettes.
I hate them and they disgust me.
And when I’d ask him about the smell, he’d reply,
“Oh, I met up with one of my friends and kissed him.”
So, you kissed him on the mouth?!
He would lie,
Not even able to look me in the eyes and tell me he smoked.
I felt like he wasn't a real man because he couldn't face me.
I tried to stick to my principles,
Until something happened when I was nine months pregnant,
Something I’ll never forget.
We were at his mother’s,
Having a fight,
And his nephew was there trying to keep him away from me.
He was like a bull, seeing red,
No one could calm him down,
And I had no idea what I’d done for him to act like this.
“Why are you doing this? What are you compensating for?”
I gave birth and got my strength back,
So whenever he swore at me, I swore back,
And whenever he hit me, I hit back.
I would fight back when he threw me on the bed.
I’d kick him whenever he hit me.
Things stayed like this.
And whenever he tried to insult me, I’d talk back.
He’d say, “Your father is this and that.”
So, I’d reply, “Your father, and mother, and entire family are so and so.”
I despised myself when I acted like this,
Then and now.
I was exhausted.
I knew his family had raised him wrong,
With beatings and harsh words.
They all used to beat him.
His house was full of abuse so he decided to abuse me.
He would tell me I was a slave here.
He’d say I was basically a toilet to him.
I wish I could take what’s rightfully mine from him,
But I don't know how to.
There are so many negative feelings inside me,
That I don’t know how to get rid of.
If more women stood up to their abusive husbands,
We wouldn’t still be dealing with men like this.
For me to have the right to divorce my husband is one of the best laws to come about.
I don’t want your money,
But you will support me and my son whether you like it or not.
On top of all this, big boy, it’ll be written on our papers that I divorced you.
And it’ll be a judge that’ll divorce me, not you.
I don’t care what people will think.
Right now, he’s still my husband,
And he wants us to get back together.
I have been so patient.
I’ve given him so many chances to fix things with me,
But he hasn't changed.
And I know deep down that he’ll never change.
I’m still confused about whether I should go back to him or not.
I’m scared of all that I’m hearing.
I’m scared I won’t have an apartment.
I’m scared my son will be torn between me and his father.
My son is a boy and he needs a father.
He’s not a girl who’ll be okay with just me.
I’m scared of how society will see me.
I’ve already been divorced once before.
And we live in a society that always sees men in the right.
Even if I complain all day,
No one will take my word over his.
But he hit me when I was 9 months pregnant,
And his nephew had to protect me.
He used to slap me across the face.
Why should I go back to him?!